Your “prayers not answered” means your “expectations not fulfilled.” The TAO wisdom explains why: your attachments to careers, money, relationships, and success “make” but also “break” you by creating your flawed ego-self that demands your “expectations to be fulfilled.”

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Be Who You Really Are


Knowing your true self can also make you re-assess your strengths and weaknesses, which may help you along your journey.
With acute body awareness and mind focus, you begin to train yourself to pay greater attention to what is happening in your body, in your mind, as well as in your perceptions of others and of the world around you. In other words, it is your deliberate and purposeful intention to bring more being into your own life experiences. According to research studies, mindfulness of your being is instrumental in helping you cope with your everyday problems, look after your physical health, let go of your undesirable patterns of thinking and behavior, and relate to others with better understanding and greater compassion.  In other words, awareness and focus may bring about the miracle of being, which is now your new perception of your true selfwho you really are, and not what you wish you were. Your new being is the outcome of your becoming from where you were.

An Illustration of Becoming

There was ancient Chinese fable of a stonecutter who worked so hard cutting stones that he often felt stressed and depressed.
One day, while standing behind a huge stone where he was cutting his stones, he looked up at the sky, and saw the beautiful sun. Then, he wished he were the sun that could give warmth and sunshine to everyone on earth. A fairy came to him and granted him his wish, so he became the sun.
For a while, he was happy and contented. Then, one day, a big cloud came over, blocked out everything from his view, and he could not even see what was below. He became distressed, and wished he were the cloud, instead of the sun. Again, the fairy came to his rescue, and granted him his wish. He became the cloud, and began drifting and floating happily and peacefully in the sky.
After a while, a strong wind came and scattered the cloud in many different directions. Now, he wished he were the strong wind that could blow away anything and everything that stood in his way. Again, the fairy made his wish come true: he became the strong wind, blowing here and there. For a while, he was happy and contented.
Then, one day, he found that he could not blow away the big stone behind which he used to cut stones in the past. Worse, he was stuck there at the big stone, and going nowhere at all.
Now, finally, he realized that was where he belonged, and where he was supposed to be.
He made his one last wish to become the stonecutter that he used to be. The fairy granted him his last wish, and now he was contented to be the stonecutter again.
The moral of the fable: comparison and contrast between the self and others is often a stumbling block to self-contentment, without which there is no self-discovery, which is the ultimate enlightenment. Self-acceptance is self-love—accepting yourself as who you are in spite of all your shortcomings and imperfections, without comparing and contrasting with others. Letting go of your ego-self is detaching yourself from all your attachments that may ultimately become the sources of your miseries and sufferings in your life.
Remember, all human attachments come in the form of many different stressors in life, and are often the stumbling blocks in the human quest for true human wisdom because they create many delusions and illusions for the thinking mind.

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Monday, March 30, 2020

Watch But Judge Not

Watch But Judge Not

“The Creator has no judgment, no preference:
He treats everything and everyone alike.
Every manifestation attests to the mysteries of His creation.

So, we, too, embrace everything and everyone with no judgment, no preference.
His grace, never depleting and forever replenishing, shows us the Way.
Judgment and preference separate us from His grace, causing attachment.
Only with His grace do we find renewal and rebirth along the Way.”
(Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, chapter 5)

To pursue the wisdom of the Creator, you must think like Him.

He has no judgment; He is fair to all.

So, why should you judge others? Nobody is perfect, including you.

To think like the Creator, be all inclusive and all embracive.

“The Creator seems elusive amid the changes of life.
At times, He seems to have forsaken His creations.
In reality, He is simply observing the comings and goings of their follies.

Likewise, we watch the comings and goings
of our likes and dislikes, of our desires and fears.
But we do not identify with them.
With no judgment and no preference,
we see the mysteries of creation.”
(Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, chapter 7)
         
We are living in a world of war and violence.

How could the Creator permit such evil to persist? Has the Creator forsaken those who are just and righteous?

If you choose to ask the Creator the above questions, maybe you should also ask yourself the same questions.

The bottom line: never ever judge; injustice in the physical world is one of the many mysteries to be resolved by the Creator, and not be you, because you are in the world but not of the world.

Stephen Lau        
Copyright© by Stephen Lau
                            

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Change Perceptions to Become Happier

Wellness is feeling good about self with respect to the body, the mind, and the soul. Wellness may be synonymous with happiness.  Wellness comes from the mind – the mind’s perceptions of what the body  is experiencing in the physical world. Wisdom, surprisingly, can change the mind’s perceptions to make one feel better and happier.

Are you happy? What makes you happy? A successful career, satisfying relationships, good health, or material possessions? Which one, or all of those? No matter what, wellness is what makes you feel good about yourself, and what makes your life meaningful. If your life is without a purpose, and you are always drifting from here to there, you won't feel good about yourself or life in general.

Feeling good about oneself requires wisdom -- wisdom to know who you are and what you want in life. Without wisdom, you will not experience lasting well-being. Without wisdom, your living is like like chasing the wind, without any direction.

Wisdom is essential in the art of living well. It involves wisdom of the mind, the body, and the soul. They are all inter-related and inter-dependent on one another. For example, if you have satisfying relationships but your health is rapidly deteriorating, you will not feel well; or if you have a successful career but are emotionally distressed, you will not be in good spirit. Therefore, the overall wellness is contingent on the holistic wellness of the body, the mind, and the soul. To cherish and nourish this holistic wellness, your need wisdom, which holds the key to happiness and well-being of any individual.

Which is wisdom? Where does it come from?

Wellness begins with the mind first, and not the body or the soul. After all, you are what you have become by reason of your thinking. You are a summary of your thoughts, which make you who you are or what you have now become. Your past experiences and your perceptions of those experiences have "preconditioned" how you currently think. In other words, your background, and upbringing predetermine how your mind perceives your present life experiences. Given that your past exposure might not be telling you the whole truth, you, therefore, need wisdom to "empty" your mind and re-define your current mindset. That is to say, you must learn how to rethink your mind. Thinking is never easy and that is why so few people do it, according to Albert Einstein.

You are living in a physical world, and your life experiences are perceived by your body through the five senses (seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, touching). But these sensations may be positively or negatively interpreted by the mind, which stores past experiences of those sensations of body in both the conscious mind and the subconscious mind. The former voluntarily accepts or rejects those sensations, while the latter involuntarily includes whatever the subconscious mind is exposed to. True wisdom is the capability of the mind to know what is real and what is unreal. 

Tao wisdom is the ancient wisdom from China that shows you how to have an empty mind first to rethink your mind in order to separate the truths from the half-truths or myths.

Tao wisdom is the essence in the art of living well, It is the profound wisdom of the ancient Chinese sage, Lao Tzu, the author of the immortal classic Tao Te Ching, one of the most translated works in world literature. The book has been popular for thousands of years due to its wisdom, which is simple but controversial, profound and yet intriguing. To fully understand it, you need to get all the essentials of Tao wisdom. Click here for more details.

With Tao wisdom, you may live a much better life, without depressive episodes now and then.

Stephen Lau     
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Holistic Health for Self-Healing

Holistic health is the pursuit of the highest qualities of the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual aspects of the human experience in order to initiate holistic healing to recover from any disease or disorder.

Is holistic health for everyone?

Almost anyone can pursue holistic health. But for the individual to eventually embrace holistic health, he or she must have the following attributes:

Intent to heal

The intent to heal is expressed in a deep desire to improve health in order to heal. That begins with self-awareness. That is, you must, first of all, become aware of the need for living for life to the fullest. If you are already content with the life you are living at the present moment, you will continue with your current lifestyle patterns. If, on the other hand, you are dissatisfied, you will have to make meaningful changes in your life. So, it has to do with self-awareness of the intent to heal.

Self-responsibility

Life is full of choices, and holistic health is simply a choice. You are responsible for your life. Once you decide that the power to change is well within you, almost anything can happen. But if you hand over your responsibility for your health and well-being to the professionals, you cannot and will not live your life to the fullest. Why? It is because others cannot live your life for you; given that life is about choices, nobody can make those life choices for you, and, above all, no one can establish balance and harmony in your life.

Self-acceptance

Self-acceptance is as important as self-responsibility in holistic health. You must accept yourself for what and who you are. Never strive to become the someone else that you are not. Mental anguish impairs holistic health.

Self-empowerment


Empower yourself with knowledge and information so that you may have the wisdom to discern the truths from the myths about health and healing. For example, there is a growing body of evidence showing that antibiotics and other pharmaceutical drugs weaken the body's immune system, and thus increases the susceptibility to illness over the long haul. 

HOLISTIC SELF-CARE

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Friday, March 27, 2020

Do You Have A Bad Memory?


If you think you cannot remember dates of appointments, special events and occasions, such as birthdays, where you have put your keys, the names of people you have just been introduced to, you may think you have a bad memory, or, worse, the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease. Nothing could be further from the truth.

In truth, you may "think" you have a bad memory; it is just your mental perception. Epictetus, the famous Greek philosopher once said: "People are disturbed not by things, but by the view which they take of them." In other words, it is just your perception of your bad memory that is bothering you.

Why do you hold this belief? It is because you are comparing the conditions of your present memory with those in the past. Has your memory really gone from bad to worse? Can it be just your subjective perception rather than a factual or scientific validation of your memory decline? More importantly, you have added more years to your life, and therefore you have more data stored in your memory, and that may explain some of your problems in retrieving the extra information stored.

Believing you have bad memory will not help your memory loss. Quite the contrary, such a belief may only add insult to injury by creating undue stress that inhibits good memory.

The process of your memory involves encoding, which is turning information you wish to remember into some sort of a code to be stored in your brain for future retrieval, Bad memory is your inability to retrieve at will the information stored in your brain. Your inability to retrieve the information is often due to your anxiety. In other words, the more you are anxious about your bad memory, the more difficult it is for you to retrieve the desired information.

The bottom line: don't even think you have a bad memory; relax your mind through diaphragm breathing and meditation to increase your mind power; most importantly, learn the techniques to improve your memory.

UNLIMITED MEMORY

Stephen Lau 
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Self-Introspection

Always look inside yourself: that is self-introspection.

Ancient wisdom makes us look inside ourselves, while contemporary wisdom often makes us look outside. Carl Jung, the famous Swiss psychiatrist, once said: "who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes." It is important to look inside in order to discover the ultimate truth of all things, which is the essence of true human wisdom.

Looking inside is self-awakening. As we look inside ourselves, we begin to ask questions that demand answers that in turn lead to asking more questions. Self-intuition makes you think; without thinking, there is no wisdom, just as Albert Einstein once said: "Thinking is hard; that's why so few people do it." Therefore, put on your thinking cap and get wisdom!

Looking inside may help us understand the wisdom of "all-one" and "not-two." This ancient Chinese wisdom came from Lao Tzu, the ancient sage from China more than two thousand years ago, who was the author of the immortal classic Tao Te Ching (The Book of the Way), which has been translated into multiple languages worldwide due to its profound wisdom in living.

What does it mean by "all-one" and "not-two"?

This is similar to what the famous poet John Donne said "no man is an island." That is, we are all inter-connected with one another somehow and somewhat. The capability to see this subtle connection further enhances the awareness to perceive the inter-relationship of all things, which holds the key to understanding the ultimate truth of all things. 

“A beggar has been sitting by the side of a road for over thirty years. One day a stranger walked by. ‘Spare some change?’ mumbled the beggar, mechanically holding out his old baseball cap. ‘I have nothing to give you,’ said the stranger. Then he asked: ‘What’s that you are sitting on?’ ‘Nothing,’ replied the beggar. ‘Just an old box. I have been sitting on it for as long as I can remember.’ ‘Ever looked inside?’ asked the stranger. ‘No,’ said the beggar. ‘What’s the point? There’s nothing in there.’ ‘Have a look inside,’ insisted the stranger. The beggar managed to prey open the lid. With astonishment, disbelief, and elation, he saw that the box was filled with gold.”

The story above is taken from the beginning of the book The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle.

Look inside! The wisdom is inside you, but you have to look!

Yes, looking inside is the key to understanding and embracing the ancient wisdom in living. When you look within, you begin to see the reality of all things; and this is the beginning of your understanding of Tao (), the ancient Chinese wisdom in living.

Yes, like the beggar, you have to look inside yourself to find the riches of life, or to attain your individual enlightenment, which is the ultimate true human wisdom.

“From knowing to not knowing,
This is superior.
From not knowing to knowing,
This is sickness.
It is by being sick of sickness
That one is not sick.
The sage is not sick.
Because he is sick of sickness,
Therefore he is not sick.”
(Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 71)

So, look inside yourself, be sick of sickness, and you will not be sick!

Visit my site: Wisdom in Living.

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Quiet A Compulsive Mind


How to Quiet A Compulsive Mind

Because your mind does not voluntarily stay in the present moment, constantly shuffling back and forth between the past and the future, the only way to stop the thinking mind is to direct it to the present moment. When your mind stays in the present moment, it stops its thinking process of the past or the future—at least for the time being. To make your mind remain in the present moment—even though for just a short moment—you need acute awareness and deep concentration. To do that, you need constant and regular practice to focus or re-focus your mind on the present moment.

Once you can stop, at will, your mind from thinking, you have control over your thinking process, you are no longer a slave to your thoughts, and your mind becomes once again your friend, instead of your enemy. Learn to switch your mind on and off, just as you do with your computer.

Remember, we are all addicted to thinking, whether we want it or not; we must stop our thinking sometime and somehow.

Mind Training to Focus on the Present Moment

In your everyday life, you can practice mind training to focus on the present moment. Essentially, you are giving your full attention to what you are doing at that very present moment.

Reflective Thought

Focusing on the present moment makes you forget the past and the future.

Case in Point

Some people like to engage in dangerous sports, such as car racing or skydiving, because they would like to obliterate thoughts of the past and the future by focusing only on the thrills of the present moment.

If your mind is fully engaged in doing something, you will not be thinking of the past or the future, just like the car racers or skydivers. It is only when you are half-engaged mentally, then your mind begins to wander, letting your subconscious mind take over.

There is a difference between the knowledge mind and the thinking mind. The former provides facts or information about something or someone; the latter provides labels, judgments and opinions. Practice mind training to focus on the present moment so as to withdraw the thinking mind from the past and the future whenever it is not needed.

For example, you can focus your mind on your breathing. Notice how you breathe in and breathe out, how your body feels during inhalation and exhalation, and how the flow and rhythm of your breaths are affecting your mind. Put some stick-on notes on your computer monitor or anywhere in your house to remind you to practice conscious breathing every now and then throughout the day. Practicing conscious breathing for 2-3 minutes every hour or so does not interrupt with your daily work; just form this good habit of mindfulness and internal focus.

For example, you can focus your mind on your walking. Pay close attention to every step, every movement of your hands and feet, your breathing, and your body sensations while you are walking. Many people do their walking while listening to their music, or worse, talking on the cell phone; they are not letting their minds focus on the present moment.

THE TAO OF LIVING LONGER

THE POWER OF NOW

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau